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Family of Phil Petty ends speculation over former South Carolina standout’s cause of death

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The wife of former South Carolina standout quarterback Phil Petty ended speculation over his cause of death in a social media post on Monday.

South Carolina announced last week that Petty died at the age of 43. He played for South Carolina from 1999 to 2001 and led the team to two bowl wins during his collegiate career.

His wife, Morgan, wrote in a Facebook post to clarify the circumstances behind her husband’s death. The State reported he had battled a brief illness before passing away. She also thanked those who have expressed messages of support to her and her family.

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South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty calls signals against Ohio State in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. USC won 31-28.

South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty calls signals against Ohio State in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. USC won 31-28.
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

“To all of our friends, family and all of Phil Petty biggest supporters. I know there is a lot of speculation going around in the news outlets about my husbands cause of death. Not one person has reached out to ask and these reporters have ran off on what they believe or what anyone else has said. Phil was rushed to the hospital for internal bleeding and hemorrhaged,” she wrote.

“This is the truth in how I lost the love of my life and the father to our babies. Asking for many prayers to get us through these difficult days, weeks, months and years ahead. God bless all of you who have showed so much love and support and who have shared so many stories in his honor.”

On Saturday, she wrote an emotional tribute to her husband and announced a scholarship fund in his name.

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Phil Petty of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sept. 29, 2001.

Phil Petty of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sept. 29, 2001.
(Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

“To honor you and your legacy the kids and I wanted to start the Phil Petty Scholarship foundation. I will make sure that we continue to live and carry on the legacy of Phil Petty,” she wrote in part.

“I love you P2 always and forever and there will never be a day you won’t be by side and in my heart. Love you to the moon and back to the dirt. Until I get to feel your soft arms around me.”

Petty took over as South Carolina starting quarterback in 2000 — a year after the Lou Holtz-led squad went 0-11. He led the Gamecocks to an 8-4 record in 2000 and a 9-3 record in 2001.

South Carolina won the Outback Bowl in both seasons with Petty as a starter. At the time, it was their first bowl appearance since 1994 and the first time they made a bowl game in consecutive seasons since 1987 and 1988.

Petty had 5,656 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes in four seasons with the Gamecocks. He spent one season in the NFL as a backup for the Tennessee Titans before moving into coaching.

FILE - South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty (14) celebrates after defeating Ohio State, 31-28, in the Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, 2002, in Tampa, Florida.

FILE – South Carolina quarterback Phil Petty (14) celebrates after defeating Ohio State, 31-28, in the Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, 2002, in Tampa, Florida.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

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He spent a few years as a coach in the collegiate and high school ranks. He was named to the football staff at Gray Collegiate Academy in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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